Friday, 27 January 2017


One week on from the US Presidential inauguration, and we're still here! When that orange person stepped onto the stage my heart sank.

But far more exciting things have been happening on a stage near me, and no, that's not fake news!

The other side of the academy that I teach Film & TV at, concentrates on training students for the stage. In fact it would be safe to say that the vast majority of students attend for the singing and dancing. In the same way that they learn how to make films, by making a film, there can be no better study for stage than putting on a performance, and for the past six months, that is exactly what they have been working toward.

Last Saturday they put on two performances of Singing In The Rain at a nearby theatre. I had to keep reminding myself that the boy playing the male lead role of Don is only 13 years old! I could never have done that at 13.

Over the most recent months they have become a little jaded with the constant rehearsals, which is understandable, as two out of the three hours at the academy were solely devoted to that purpose, sometimes even as much as three.  But it's all over now, and on the day, with the added excitement of glitzy costumes and a sold out house, it all felt worth while. They put on a remarkable show, and at the end the audience gave them a standing ovation.

Sadly I never got to see the full show in all its glory, as I was working back stage in the Green Room, getting them ready to go on for different scenes. There is no lasting record of the show, as due to the licence restrictions we were not allowed to film it.

But filming is something we are about to start in the next two weeks. This years big project is to film abridged Shakespeare plays, but adapted for the screen. They had previously worked on them to perform in front of their parents back in June, but for various reasons this never happened. So a decision was taken to turn them into films. At first the students expectation was that they would be filming what they had created for the stage, but as the weeks went by, they started to realise that just wasn't going to look good on film.

First day of filming is on 11 February for Midsummer Nights Dream, Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth. For the latter, the teenage students will get their first taste of filming "on location" away from the academy.

A year ago we spent three months in production for their film festival movies, but this time we have half the amount of time and double the amount of shots! I can be pretty certain I wont be given several two or three-hour days as in the show rehearsals, which is a shame, as it puts everyone under a lot of pressure. Hopefully, though, with the right support, we can pull it off and there will be no disasters.

So maybe best not to mention the name of that Scottish play from now on.

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